|Hidamari Sketch X365
|marble: Kikuchi Tatsuya, micco
|Aug 6, 2008
|1. Ryuusei Record
|3. Ryuusei Record (INSTRUMENTAL)
|4. Hummingbird (INSTRUMENTAL)
Review: When I heard that Hidamari Sketch was going to get a second season, I expected the OP to be pretty energetic followed by a calmer, mellower ED. In my review of Hidamari Sketch x365’s OP, Hatena de Wasshoi, I was enthused by the overall air and atmosphere the track brought forth and now that I’ve listened to Ryuusei Record, I can say that my high expectations have been met for the ED.
I welcomed micco’s return as the vocalist because her voice was outstanding in Mebae Drive and her other OP/ED singles outside of Hidamari Sketch have been wonderful. So when her voice enters after the brief guitar interlude in the beginning, I was impressed at how Ryuusei Record blends soothing, mellow tones with an underlying layer of energy and puts it into a catchy melody. The background instruments do an excellent job of complementing her voice while creating that relaxing, yet vibrant atmosphere. Because of this, the piece becomes really enjoyable as all its parts mix in and come out well balanced.
Hummingbird departs from the mellowness that had preceded it and it feels somewhat out of place because the two tracks don’t complement each other. Here, micco’s singing just feels really awkward as she rightly puts emphasis on the word “hummingbird,” but puts the stresses in the wrong places as to make it sound weird to an English speaker’s ear. The problem is that you hear this as part of the refrain, which means you’ll be subject to it quite often, putting a damper on the song as an entity when really, the other parts are listenable, even if they may be forgettable. It also should be noted that some of the transitions from a lower to higher pitch feel somewhat jarring, earning Hummingbird yet another strike.
As is the case for most OP/ED singles, you’re really only looking for the first track and from that standpoint, Ryuusei Record delivers a wonderful listening experience. Hummingbird is something you’d want to skip or listen to passively unless you really enjoy marble’s voice, in which case, it can’t hurt to give it a shot to see if it’s worth multiple listens.